Pittsburg State University - Pittsburg, Kansas
PSU Home | PSU Search | GUS / Logins | A-Z Index | Campus Map | Contact Info. | Comments | Help

News @ PSU

News and information from Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Student photog uses talents for charity

A Pittsburg State University student is using his passion for photography to help rebuild his tornado-devastated hometown.

Aaron Anders, a sophomore in commercial graphics, was at his home near Chapman, Kan. when a tornado hit the rural town of about 3,000 on June 10.

“At first you don’t really believe that something like that happened to your town,” Anders said. “And you really don’t think it’s going to be that bad, until you actually see it. That’s why the pictures really help describe it.”

Much of Chapman was destroyed by the half-mile wide tornado that swept through the town, demolishing more than 60 homes. The American Red Cross estimated that 75 percent of homes suffered major damage. Miraculously, the storm only killed one person.

When Anders and his family decided to drive into town to see if anyone needed help, Anders, a Collegio photographer, decided to document the destruction.

“I grabbed my camera not knowing what I’d use the pictures for, but I knew if it was that bad it would be a day that everyone would remember,” Anders said. “We went there 15 minutes after the storm – before the National Guard started keeping track of who went in and who went out.”

Anders called up PSU Photojournalism Instructor Mike Gullett, who put him in touch with the Associated Press. Soon Anders’ photos were on the wire for use in newspapers across the country.

Anders took hundreds of images, the best of which he made into a slideshow.

“Even when I started the slideshow, I just kind of did it for myself, because I had so many memories… of the town I grew up in,” Anders said. “I showed the slideshow to my journalism teacher and my friends, and they told me it was great. That’s when I thought people might want to see this.”

He was right. Anders decided to make DVDs of the slideshow and sell them to raise money to rebuild the Chapman schools, which were largely destroyed by the tornado.

“Once we started selling them, I started getting phone calls from all over the place,” Anders said, noting that people called from as far away as Massachusetts.

One mother bought a DVD to send to her son in Iraq. A Salina woman who graduated in the 1940s also called about the DVD.

“That’s when I started realizing it wasn’t just my memories that were there at the school and the town,” Anders said.

So far, he’s sold over 500 DVDs for a minimum donation of $10. All told, he raised over $7,000 for the Chapman school district – and that number is still growing.

He presented the superintendent with a giant check he designed and printed himself, using the graphic design skills he learned at Pitt State.

“They’re using that to rebuild the schools and buy school supplies,” Anders said. “The whole town’s hope is to rebuild stronger than ever before.”

---Pitt State---

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Text messaging a new safety option this fall

With a new semester now underway, officials at Pittsburg State University want make sure returning students feel safe – and that their parents know that in the event of an emergency, notification will be swift.

Nearly 1,200 students have signed up for emergency text messaging since the university implemented the service earlier this summer. The safety communications tool is also available for faculty, staff, and parents. The text messaging option, which is available on the PSU Web site, is part of a package of communications tools that can be used in the case of a campus emergency.

Howard Smith, assistant to the president and director of the university’s crisis response team, said text messaging is just one way that information can be sent during an emergency. In the next two weeks, he will be meeting with offices and departments on campus in an effort to encourage faculty and staff to sign up.

“We know from observing crisis situations on other campuses, that there is no single perfect way to communicate important information to every constituency on and off campus,” Smith said. “But texting is a great option for immediate communication. We hope this is the money we spend that we never need to use.”

The university continues to work on other communications systems including group dialing, external loud speakers and Web-based communications.

“Campus safety is both a top priority and an ongoing process at Pittsburg State,” Smith said.

For more information, click on the safety button on the PSU home page or go to

---Pitt State---

Solo & Chamber Music Series acts announced

Tickets are now on sale for Pittsburg State University’s 2008-09 Solo & Chamber Music Series, which brings world-class musical performers to PSU’s McCray Recital Hall.

The Department of Music has scheduled an eclectic mix of six award-winning acts ranging from trumpeters to vocalists to a Celtic ensemble. Tickets, which are available at the PSU Ticket Office, are free for PSU students.

For the general public, season tickets are $46, or $32 for those over 65 or under 18. The public can also buy tickets for any four shows for $34, or $23 for those over 65 or under 18.

Tickets for individual shows are $10, or $7 for those over 65 or under 18. All shows will be held at 7:30 p.m. in McCray Recital Hall.

Tuesday, Sept. 23 – Niklas Eklund and Nathaniel Mayfield, trumpeters. Eklund has performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall and Berlin Philharmonic Hall.

Tuesday, Oct. 7 – Daniel Pollack, pianist. Pollack is known worldwide for his high-energy performances.

Tuesday, Nov. 11 – Ensemble Galilei, classical and Celtic group. Ensemble Galilei recently collaborated with NPR’s Neal Conan and the National Geographic Society for “First Person: Stories from the Edge of the World.”
Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2009 – James Maddalena, baritone. Maddalena gained international recognition for his portrayal of Richard Nixon in the world premiere of John Adams’ “Nixon in China.”

Friday, March 27, 2009 – Capitol Quartet, saxophonists. The Capitol Quartet is comprised of alumni from the premiere military bands of the United States and teaching faculty at several music schools.

Friday, April 24, 2009 – David Requiro, cello. Requiro was named first place winner of the 2008 Naumberg International Competition held during June in New York.

Some of the visiting artists will present master classes as part of their visits. These will be open to the public. For more information, call the Department of Music at (620) 235-4466.

For ticket information, call the PSU Ticket Office at (620) 235-4796.

In photo: Ensemble Galilei.

---Pitt State---

Monday, August 25, 2008

OFF2PSU events welcome students back to campus

PSU’s Campus Activities office has planned a slate of activities to welcome students back for the 2008-09 school year.

The events, stretching from Monday, Aug. 25, to Thursday, Sept. 4, range from informative tours to performances by a rock band and a hypnotist. All activities are free.

Monday, Aug. 25, 8 p.m. – Florez (
www.florezmusic.com), a groove-driven rock group, will perform in Cleveland Plaza. The band features Erik Huffman, a cast member on “Survivor: China.”

Tuesday, Aug. 26, 7 p.m. – Gorilla Superstar, a karaoke contest, will be held in the U-Club downstairs in Overman Student Center. Exciting prizes will be given to the top finishers. The event is sponsored by the Residence Hall Assembly.

Wednesday, Aug. 27, 10 a.m. – The Community Fair, featuring dozens of businesses and nonprofit organizations distributing information and offering giveaways, will be held on the Oval. Approximately 75 groups are expected this year.

Thursday, Aug. 28, 4 p.m. – Students will be able to take tours of sorority houses after gathering in Overman Student Center.

Wednesday, Sept. 3, 7 p.m. & 9 p.m. – Michael C. Anthony (
www.michaelcanthony.com), an award-winning hypnotist, will perform for PSU students in the Crimson & Gold Ballroom in Overman Student Center. This will be the second year that Anthony will perform twice in one night due to the show’s overwhelming popularity.

Thursday, Sept. 4, 8 p.m. – Karaoke Night will be held by campus wellness group Gorillas In Your Midst in the U-Club. The group holds a Karaoke Night once a month throughout the school year.

For more information on any event, please contact the Campus Activities Center at (620) 235-4795, or e-mail

---Pitt State---

Thursday, August 21, 2008

PSU president announces retirement plans

Dr. Tom Bryant, president of Pittsburg State University, today announced his decision to retire from the university presidency at the conclusion of the academic year or at such time as the Kansas Board of Regents finds a suitable replacement. Bryant made the announcement as part of his annual address to the faculty preceding the opening of the fall semester.

Bryant, the eighth president of PSU, was appointed president of the university on July 1, 1999. Previously, he served as interim president of the university from May until December in 1995.

Bryant said he chose to step down at this particular time because the university was strong, growing and well positioned to meet the challenges ahead.

“This is a good time in the life of Pittsburg State University,” Bryant said. “Enrollment is healthy, relationships with alumni and the community are strong, we have accomplished some major projects and others are well on their way. We have excellent leaders in key positions across campus who are prepared to continue the progress Pittsburg State University has made.”

Bryant said he was confident that the next president of the university would receive the support of alumni, students, faculty and staff and friends of the university.

In an e-mail today, Bryant wrote that the decision to retire as president of the university was not an easy one that he and his wife, Koeta, considered for some time.

“Koeta and I have discussed this at length and we believe the time is right to begin the orderly change of leadership at Pittsburg State University,” Bryant wrote.

“Serving as president of Pittsburg State University has been one of the greatest honors of my life. I can’t imagine a more satisfying endeavor,” Bryant said. “It has been a great joy to work with thousands of bright, talented and energetic students. They are a daily reminder of why Pittsburg State University exists and the value of what we do.”

Bryant took a moment to acknowledge the contribution of his wife, Koeta, to the university.

“The president’s spouse is too often an unsung hero,” Bryant said. “Koeta has been a full partner in our service to Pittsburg State University and her love of Pittsburg State and the PSU family is as deep as my own.”

Bryant joined the PSU family in 1970 as an associate professor of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. He was named chairman of that department in 1985. In 1992, he was named acting dean of the College of Education and in 1993, he was named dean. From July 1, 1998, until May 31, 1999, Bryant served as interim executive director for the Kansas Board of Regents.

When Bryant stepped in as interim president in 1995, the university was in the midst of an unplanned change in leadership. Efforts to construct the Kansas Technology Center were threatened by the need to raise more than $10 million to complete the funding package for the large project. Bryant was instrumental in raising the necessary private dollars and the KTC was dedicated in 1997.

Since that time, the university has continued to grow and a number of major projects have been completed.

Last fall, Pittsburg State set an enrollment record of more than 7,000 students. New buildings since 1999 include the Family and Consumer Sciences building, the PSU Veterans Memorial, The Tyler Research Center, and the student recreation center/National Guard armory, which opened this summer. Additionally, a number of historic buildings have been renovated including Russ Hall. Carnie Smith Stadium has undergone two expansions during this time, including the addition of luxury sky boxes on both sides. A $1.7 million video board is now under construction. A major renovation of McCray Hall, home to the Department of Music, began this summer. Work will begin on a new student health center in this fall.

Private support for the university has increased dramatically during President Bryant’s term. PSU Foundation assets have increased from $27.2 million in 1999 to more than $65 million today and student scholarships supported by private gifts now top $2 million annually.

Bryant earned a bachelor’s degree from Drury College in Springfield, Mo., a master’s degree from Pittsburg State University and an Ed.D. from the University of Arkansas. Prior to joining the PSU faculty in 1970, Bryant taught and coached at Bronaugh, Mo., High School, Pittsburg High School and Wayne State College in Nebraska.

Donna Shank, chairperson of the Kansas Board of Regents, praised Bryant for his leadership.

“Under Tom’s leadership, Pittsburg State set student enrollment records, witnessed impressive campus construction projects, and experienced incredible increases in private giving," Shank said. "We are certainly thankful that Tom will continue to serve as Pittsburg State’s president through the end of the academic year. In the meantime, I anticipate that the Board will soon formalize the process to conduct the search for a new president, and this discussion could take place as early as next month’s Board meeting.

"It’s incredibly difficult to imagine Pittsburg State without Tom Bryant. However, I sincerely wish Tom and his wife, Koeta, all the very best as they move into retirement.”

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Fall semester kicks off with Opening Faculty Meeting

The state of the economy and its effects on higher education, issues such as parking and university growth, as well as campus construction are all topics Pittsburg State University President Tom Bryant will address this Thursday at the university’s annual Opening Faculty Meeting.

Held each year just before the start of the fall semester, the meeting is the only time during the year the president addresses faculty and staff as a group. It is also one of the few times that faculty and staff gather en mass. This year’s meeting will begin at 9:30 a.m., Aug. 21, in the Crimson and Gold Ballroom in the Overman Student Center. Coffee and conversation will begin at 8:45 a.m., with the program running from 9:30-11 a.m.

The Opening Faculty Meeting is a way to welcome back faculty and staff and to greet new employees. This year, 42 new faculty and 31 new staff members will be introduced. In total, Pitt State is employing 960 faculty and staff members for the 2008-09 year, not including student workers and graduate assistants.

“Our faculty and the service they provide for our students are what drive this university,” Bryant said. “We always look forward to the fall semester and the energy of a new school year.”

In addition to Bryant, faculty members will hear from Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Steve Scott, as well as the presidents of the Faculty Senate, the Faculty Association, and the PSU Kansas National Education Association.

---Pitt State---

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Performing Arts & Lecture Series tickets available

Tickets for Pittsburg State University’s 2008-09 Performing Arts and Lecture Series (PALS) are now on sale.

This year’s series includes a variety of entertaining performances ranging from the winner of a hit NBC reality series to a world-renowned play.

Season tickets are $20 for the general public. Pitt State faculty and staff, audience members 65 and older, and audience members and 17 and under can purchase season tickets for $15. Pitt State students receive free tickets to all events with their student ID.

Friday, Sept. 12, 7 p.m. – Mike Super (
www.mikesuper.com), winner of NBC’s Phenomenon, will appear at Pittsburg’s Memorial Auditorium. General public $5, all others $3.

Thursday, Sept. 25, 7 p.m. – Recycled Percussion (
www.recycledpercussion.com), an exciting dance and percussion troop using recycled instruments, will perform at Memorial Auditorium. General public $7, all others $5.

Thursday, Feb. 5, 2009, 7 p.m. – Ed Begley, Jr. (
www.edbegley.com), host of HGTV’s “Living with Ed,” will be featured at the Crimson and Gold Ballroom. Admission is free.

Feb. 23-26, 2009 – Mystical Arts of Tibet: Mandala Sand Painting (
www.mysticalartsoftibet.org) will begin Feb. 23 at 12 p.m. and be presented each day at the Crimson and Gold Ballroom, with a closing ceremony at 4 p.m. on Feb. 26. A lecture on the symbolism of Sand Mandala will be held at 7 p.m. in the Governor’s Room of the Overman Student Center. Admission is free.

Monday, March 2, 7 p.m. – The Montana Repertory Theater (
www.montanarep.org) will present “To Kill a Mockingbird,” at Memorial Auditorium. General public $12, all others $8.
For more information on PALS events, contact the PSU Campus Activities Center at 620-235-4795 or

---Pitt State---

New director named for Continuing & Graduate Studies

A new director has been named to the Office of Continuing and Graduate Studies at Pittsburg State University.

B.B. Stotts, who currently serves in the Office of Career Services as assistant director for employer relations, will take over the position Aug. 25. Stotts replaces Kathleen Flannery, who accepted a position with the Mt. Carmel Regional Medical Center Foundation last month.

Stotts has been with the university for 13 years. Prior to her current position, her first job with PSU was as coordinator of on-campus recruitment and student registration. In each role, she has worked closely with students, helping them achieve their educational goals as well as find jobs after graduation. In her new position, she will recruit graduate students, help develop and market the graduate programs, and provide continuing education leadership.

“She has a strong background working with business and industry, which will help us strengthen our graduate degrees to meet their needs,” said Dr. Peggy Snyder, dean of Continuing and Graduate Studies. “We feel very lucky to hire someone of her caliber.”

Originally from Ft. Worth, Texas, Stotts received a bachelor of business administration degree from Texas Tech University. She earned a master of education degree in counseling and student services from the University of North Texas in Denton. In 2006, she achieved the Master Career Development Professional certification through the National Career Development Association (NCDA).

Stotts has held leadership roles and memberships with several professional organizations including the NCDA, the Kansas Association of Colleges and Employers, the Southern Association of Colleges and Employers, the National Association of Colleges and Employers, and the American Association of Employment in Education. She has also been involved in local organizations such as Leadership Crawford County, the Alliance for Technology Commercialization, and the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce, among others.

She and her husband, Jeff, live in Pittsburg with their daughters, Madison and Avery.

---Pitt State---

Alumni Office offers outdoor movie, fall family events

The Office of Alumni and Constituent Relations will host a free outdoor movie, “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” at 8 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 22, on the lawn of the Wilkinson Alumni Center for alumni, friends and their families. Popcorn and drinks will be available along with prizes for children. Community members are invited, and those who plan to attend should bring lawn chairs or blankets.

The movie is the first of several fall events for families offered by the office. Family Day, featuring PSU’s first home football game against Missouri Southern State University, is scheduled for Sept. 13. That day, the office will offer GPS scavenger hunts and magic shows targeted for children. The 2nd annual Camping on the Oval event will also be held Oct. 24-25.

For more information on alumni family events this fall, call 620-235-4758 or go to

---Pitt State---

Fischer stepping down as Journal of Managerial Issues editor

With retirement in his near future, the editor of one of industry’s most respected management journals is stepping down.

Dr. Chuck Fischer, who has served as a professor of economics at PSU for 34 years, is handing over the reins of PSU’s Journal of Managerial Issues to Dr. Bienvenido Cortes, chairman of the Department of Economics, Finance and Banking.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the publication, which has been produced quarterly under Fischer’s leadership. Persistently recruiting the best and brightest to lead it (many Ivy Leaguers are among the 150-member board), Fischer founded the journal to serve as a bridge of communication between those who study management and those who practice it.

“It has been a huge job for me, so I’m praying for the new editor,” Fischer said with a laugh. “Being an editor of a publication like this is like a dark hole for time. It can be very labor intensive if you want quality.”

Over the past two decades, the Journal of Managerial Issues has drawn submissions from authors worldwide. With a rejection rate of 80 percent, Fischer and his team of reviewers search for articles on cutting-edge topics, guiding authors through a rigorous revision process and offering prompt, constructive criticism to those who don’t make the cut. “For someone under the tenure gun,” Fischer said, “that means a lot.”

The journal has also been an impressive source of revenue for the college. In the past five years, it has provided $120,000 in student scholarships.

“Nationally, we have worked to publish something that pushes the boundaries and provides new insights,” Fischer said. “I think the key to our success has been providing good service to authors and readers. We’re fortunate that Dr. Cortes has the talent and interest to lead it into the future.”
(Pictured above, Dr. Chuck Fischer; and below, Dr. Bienvenido Cortes.)
---Pitt State---

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Lowered flags honor fallen Kansas soldiers

Flags are flying at half staff on the Pittsburg State University campus and at other state buildings to honor two Kansans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The flags are lowered by order of Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.

The governor ordered flags lowered on Aug. 13 in honor of Spc. Ronald Andrew Schmidt, a member of Battery C, 1st Battalion, 161st Field Artillery who died August 3rd from injuries sustained August 2nd in a one vehicle accident while serving in Iraq.

Flags will be lowered on Aug. 14 in honor of Spc. William Joseph Mulvihill, Leavenworth, who was assigned to the Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas, who was killed in Afghanistan on Friday, August 1st.

Spc. Schmidt enlisted in the Kansas Army National Guard's Detachment 1, Battery C, 1st Battalion, 161st Field Artillery, Newton, on January 27th, 2007 during his senior year at Newton High School. Upon graduation from Newton High in May 2007 he attended training as a cannon crewman. He transferred to Battery C, 1st Battalion, 161st Field Artillery, Kingman, to deploy with the unit to Iraq. He was promoted to private first class on November 28th, 2007, and then to specialist.

Spc. Schmidt was awarded a Bronze Star, Iraqi Campaign Ribbon, Good Conduct medal, Overseas Service Bar and Armed Forces Reserve Medal with M device.

Spc. Schmidt is survived by his mother, Andrea Maria Schmidt, of Newton, and his uncle Paul Schmidt, of Goddard.

Spc. Mulvihill was a graduate of Leavenworth High School where he was a member of the Junior Guard and the Leavenworth R.O.T.C. program. After graduation, Spc. Mulvihill joined the United States Army where he was awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the NATO award and the Good Conduct award.

In July of 2007, Sebelius signed an executive order allowing the flags of the United States and State of Kansas to be displayed at half-staff throughout the state when a member of the Kansas National Guard or Kansas Air National Guard is killed in the line of duty, or when a Kansas resident serving as a member of the United States Armed Forces is killed in the line of duty. In each instance, the governor will designate the date for flags to fly at half-staff.

Executive orders can be found online at: http://www.governor.ks.gov/executive/Orders/

---Pitt State---

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

PSU's Rider first winner of national award for mentoring

A Pittsburg State University biology professor has been named the winner of a national award for mentoring.

Dr. Virginia Rider is the first winner of the Sidney A. McNairy, Jr. Mentoring Award through the National Institutes of Health. The award, which will be given to one professor in the nation every two years, honors faculty for their dedication and focus mentoring students.

Rider was nominated by Dr. Joan Hunt, vice chancellor for biomedical infrastructure at the University of Kansas Medical Center and principal investigator of the Kansas Institutional Network of Biomedical Research Excellence, also known as K-INBRE, a grant program within the NIH. Twenty-three states, as well as Puerto Rico, compete for the multimillion dollar INBRE grants, which are used to strengthen biomedical research in traditionally underfunded states.

Rider, the leader of K-INBRE initiatives at PSU, has received approximately $35,000 from the program each year to help support research in the laboratories of faculty who train undergraduates in a variety of research projects. Her association with the grant program, as well as her outstanding work in student mentoring, qualified her to be the sole Kansas nominee for the McNairy Award.

She traveled to Washington, D.C., August 6-8 to receive the award and to speak at the National IDeA (Institutional Development Awards) Symposium.

“Dr. Rider is an outstanding example of the scientists in Kansas who educate students and care deeply about their development,” Hunt said. “She has formed a nucleus of research scholars at PSU that can serve as an example throughout the nation of how students can be assisted as they grow, develop and learn to be researchers. Kansas is enormously proud to have Dr. Rider representing outstanding mentorship for the United States.”

Rider came to PSU in 2000 from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where she served as an associate professor. Prior to her tenure at UMKC, she worked for seven years as an assistant professor at Tufts University in Boston. Her research focuses on the molecular action of the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone in normal target cells and in disease.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science and a master’s degree in zoology from Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, La. Her Ph.D. in zoology is from Arizona State University. Rider has received several recognitions throughout her career, including the 2005 Faculty Scholar Award from the Kansas Biomedical Infrastructure Network, the 2003 M. Irene Ferrér Award in gender specific medicine through Columbia University, and the 1991 Smith Kline Beecham Award for Research Excellence, among others.

“My impact on human beings is greater through mentoring students than any research I publish or discoveries in the laboratory,” Rider said. “If you can positively affect young people into productive careers where they’re happy, that’s the best thing you can have happen in your life.”

The McNairy Award honors Dr. Sidney McNairy, Jr., director of the Division of Research Infrastructure with the National Center for Research Resources at the NIH. The award is in recognition of his insight and leadership in the promotion of biomedical research.

---Pitt State---

Thursday, August 07, 2008

New degree emphasis gives options to math majors

What do you do with an education in math if you love working with numbers, but don’t necessarily want to teach? A new degree program at Pittsburg State University is giving students an alternative to the norm.

A new emphasis in Analytics will be offered under the bachelor’s degree of Integrated Studies this fall. The new, 72-hour emphasis melds courses in mathematics and computer science, preparing graduates for careers in areas such as telecommunications, banking, or any field where math and business skills are combined.

Dr. Bobby Winters, assistant dean for the College of Arts and Sciences, calls the Integrated Studies degree “very marketable,” and describes it as combining courses in math, management and marketing, communication, English and computer science. The idea for the new emphasis came after Mindi Walker with Commerce Bank of Kansas City spoke to PSU math majors about career opportunities.

“We want educated employees who can apply their technical expertise in a business setting,” Walker said. “We look for the sort of folks who can solve the problems we give to them and are curious about the next step.”

Dr. Tim Flood, chairman of the Department of Mathematics, hopes the new emphasis will encourage students to consider the possibilities of math as a course of education.

“Lots of students come here who were good at math in high school but don’t know how to proceed with the subject once they come to college,” he said. “They may not want to teach, but we are encouraging them to develop their full mathematical talents for other careers.”

For more information on the new emphasis, contact Winters at

---Pitt State---

PSU wages battle with nature to care for memorial

Workers at Pittsburg State University replaced more of the faded panels in the replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall this summer, but the power of the elements means there is still more to do. The wall, an important element in the Veterans Memorial at PSU, is a half-sized replica of the famous memorial in Washington, D.C. Instead of granite, PSU wall’s panels are made of metal and are painted, which makes them vulnerable to the effects of the weather.

The PSU wall was originally one of the Moving Walls created by John Devitt, a veteran who wanted to find a way to take the experience of visiting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to people across the U.S. who might not be able to make the trip to Washington. When the PSU Veterans Memorial was planned, Devitt offered to retire one of his moving walls to occupy a place of honor in the new memorial.

The intense Kansas sun and seasons of all kinds of weather have taken their toll since the wall’s installation in 2004 and the university has embarked on a plan to replace all of the faded or worn panels.

Devitt is the only manufacturer of the panels and the university is working with him to replace them as quickly as possible, according to university officials. The replacement plan is complicated by the fact that Devitt maintains a busy schedule touring with the Moving Wall and is available to produce replacement panels only in the winter.

PSU officials are working with Devitt to try to make the panels more resistant to the weather over time. A new formula for a polyurethane coating may help.

“Thousands of people visit the memorial each year,” said Brad Hodson, vice president for university advancement. “The Wall is an important element in the memorial and we want to make sure it is well cared for.”

In photo: Darrell Barr, left, and Dale Herlocker, carpenters at PSU, remove one of the faded panels from the Vietnam Wall in the Veterans Memorial.

---Pitt State

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

"Jungletron" installation begins at Carnie Smith Stadium

It will be a few more weeks before PSU’s new “Jungletron” scoreboard and display is up and running, but installation has already begun.

Crews began drilling a big hole into the ground Tuesday morning at the Jungletron’s location just south of Carnie Smith Stadium. The hole will first be filled with concrete and stabilizing piers before crews set the columns to support the board. Display panels for the board will be installed during the last week of August.

The $1.7 million project is the newest addition to the stadium. With capabilities unlike any other regional institution, PSU Facilities Planning Director Paul Stewart says Jungletron will not only be used during games, but for crisis communication in times of emergency, movie nights on the field, and more.

“The possibilities are endless,” Stewart said. “The board is certainly going to change the game experience for the crowd, but it will also be used in a variety of other applications. We’re excited to explore all the different ways we can use it and to see how the public responds.”

Daktronics, Inc., in Brookings, S.D., is producing the display board, which will be almost 40 feet tall and nearly 70 feet wide. It will also include a new sound system. According to Daktronics, the PSU video board will be the largest at any NCAA D-II stadium in the U.S.

Jungletron will rely on LEDs (light emitting diodes) instead of incandescent bulbs. The new technology makes it possible to display color animation, vivid graphics and both live and pre-recorded video. The size and quality are equal to or superior to that found at many D-I programs, according to officials at Daktronics.

Similar, but smaller video displays can be found at Kansas State University, the University of Missouri, and the University of Iowa.The new display will be complete in time for the first home football game at 6 p.m. on Sept. 13 vs. Missouri Southern, which is also Family Day.

---Pitt State---

Axe Library receives important collection of mining documents

An important part of the history of the tri-state mining area has a new home at Pittsburg State University’s Axe Library. The library recently received a collection of letters, records and printed documents that help tell the colorful story of lead and zinc mining in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in southeast Kansas, northeast Oklahoma, and southwest Missouri.

The collection was originally housed by the Picher Mining Museum in Picher, Okla. When the building in which the mining papers were stored was destroyed by a tornado earlier this year, the Picher Museum Board transferred ownership of the documents to the Baxter Springs Historical Society. That organization recently arranged a long-term loan of the materials to PSU where Axe Library will provide climate controlled-storage, create item records, and work on digitization to provide easy access to the records without damaging fragile materials.

“Axe Library is pleased to be partnering with the Baxter Springs Historical Museum to preserve and make available this collection of our region’s mining heritage,” said Robert Walter, dean of learning resources at PSU.

Walter said the members of the Picher Mining Museum Board and the Baxter Springs Historical Society should be commended for their efforts to see that the records collection is preserved.

Randy Roberts, curator of special collections, said the collection is a significant one.

“Over the years the Picher Mining Museum assembled one of the nation’s outstanding collections of records and artifacts that document the history of mining and, specifically, the miners of the Tri-State Mining district. We are excited to be joining with the Baxter Springs Historical Museum to make this collection of original records available to future generations.”

Features of the collection include the records of the Tri-State Lead and Zinc Ore Producers Association plus materials on the national lead and zinc industries of the era; mine safety and health; and ore production.

Related materials from the Picher Mining Museum Collection consisting of maps, photographs, and artifacts will be on display and available for research at the Baxter Springs Historical Museum.

Walter said that in combination with other PSU resources, the new collection will provide a wealth of information for researchers studying the history of the Tri-State Mining District.

For more information about this and other historical collections at PSU, call University Archives at 620-235-4883 or visit their Web site at

For information about Axe Library, call 620-235-4879 or visit the library’s Web site at

In photo: Randy Roberts, curator of special collections at PSU, scans a historical mining document.

---Pitt State---

Monday, August 04, 2008

Student Recreation Center opens doors

The beginning of the fall semester at Pittsburg State University is still weeks away, but try telling that to Vince Daino.

Monday marked the official opening of the PSU Student Recreation Center and Kansas National Guard Armory, and Daino, the center’s director, is enjoying the commotion.

“We’ve had a steady stream of people, and as word spreads I anticipate even bigger crowds,” Daino said. “It’s the best and most unique recreation facility I’ve ever seen in this area. There are a lot of opportunities here for the improvement of fitness and health.”

The $16 million, 97,000-square-foot center is a blend of educational and recreational space. Exercise equipment, sports courts, and fitness rooms fill one end of the building, while classrooms, faculty offices, and training areas for the National Guard are stretched out throughout the rest of the space. The facility was funded by the university, the City of Pittsburg, and the State of Kansas. A formal dedication ceremony, featuring a long list of local, regional, and national officials, will be held Sept. 27.

From now until Aug. 18, faculty and staff can use the rec center free by simply swiping their PSU ID card. (Driver’s licenses as proof of ID are not accepted.) After that date, faculty and staff must purchase a membership. Cost is $100 per year, and Daino and his staff are working with Human Resource Services to set up an automatic paycheck deduction plan. Students can use the facility free of charge.

Until the start of the fall semester, hours of operation are 6:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday through Friday; 12-6 p.m. Saturday, and 3-8 p.m. Sunday.

For more information on the center’s dress code and available activities, check out http://www.pittstate.edu/recsports/.

---Pitt State---